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  1. #1915
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSF77 View Post
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    My issue with Almora lies with his walk ratio. Plain and simple. I've never complained about the rest of his tool box.

    He is not fast but plays up what he has.

    Strong arm. Can field any OF spot.

    Contact hitter but lacks power.

    He feels too much like Barney. Barney also had GG D at 2B but was limited to a single's hitter.

    Dewees lacks a strong arm. But holds speed and OBA skills. Lacks power but you really don't look at HR's from the lead off.

    Honestly Almora lacks impact talent. What he has is strong baseball instincts out in the field with a plus arm and good hand eye cordenation that leads to his high contact rate. But his raw tools are not plus.
    Don't really think Barney is a fair comparison for several reasons. First of all, Barney is a career .249 batting average. Almora hit .290 in the minors and in his first go round hit .277 with the cubs. Secondly, Bareny while a very good defender was still a 2B. That's a far less demanding position than CF and you often have SS who can't stick move over to there in order to keep their bats in play.

    As for Almora's walk rate, walks are never a bad thing but I think you're ignoring the bigger picture. The bigger picture is the interaction between your walk rate and your K rate. For example, Dee Gordon has a career 4.8% walk rate and in 2014/15 was worth 3.3 and 4.7 fWAR. That's because while he doesn't walk a ton he doesn't K a ton either at 15.7%. That gives him a career .325 OBP. That's not super star level but it's well above average. Jean Segura was worth 5 fWAR last year with a 5.6%/14.6% bb/k rate. Starling Marte who's a some what similar player to Almora is at 4.7%/22.2%. Altuve before his big break out year in 2016 was regularly in the 5% walk rate area.

    So clearly there's examples of it working fine for low walk rate guys. And if we're really that concerned, Baez had a 3.3% walk rate last year. Almora was at 4.3%. The difference between those two is Baez K'd at a 24.0% rate while Almora was at 17.1%. That's not to crap on Baez who obviously made strides last year but to point out that young players struggle with that. Almora's 4.3% walk rate was slightly higher than what he did in the minors actually at 4.2%. On the other hand, Almora's K rate in the minors was 11.7%. If he adjust back to a 12% k rate he's probably a .285-295 hitter with a .320ish OBP. You add that to potentially gold glove defense and he might be a 4+ fWAR player and if he's amazing in CF maybe even much higher than that. Kiermaier for example was worth 5.4 fWAR in 2015 with a 4.5%/17.8% bb/k rate and a .263/.298/.420 batting line.

    Seems like you're placing most of the conversation on his bat which I mean is always going to be his biggest hurdle so I get it. But his impact tool is his defense. You have to take defensive metrics with a grain of salt on small sample sizes but what he did in the OF last year was at a similar pace over a full season to what you get out of Heyward. He's potentially that good. If he's that good defensively he only needs to be an average hitter to be a potential all-star. And his wRC+ last year was 101 which is 1% better than league average. So, it's not that unlikely for him to get even better.

    Almora's unlikely to ever be an offensive force but if you bat him 5th or 6th behind one of if not the best OBP team in the majors he's going to have huge RBI totals with his ability to put the ball in play. Russell had 95 RBI's last year hitting .238 out generally the #5 hole. Almora getting on base isn't really the primary concern out of those spots in the order because your 7 and 8 hitters generally wont drive in many runs and your pitcher hurts as well. And for what it's worth, Almora was 8 for 12 with 2 HRs and 2 doubles in high leverage situations last year and he hit .294 with men on base and .333 with men in scoring position.

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  3. #1916
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    Baez has improved vs lefties but his splits were just bad vs right. His numbers suggest platoon on paper but then you factor in his plus D at 3 spots and his HR power it makes a case for more action.

    Almora will hit for contact. That part I doubt anyone will argue. The question is if he limited to singles or is he a gap hitter where he racks up 2B's.

    That will dictate where he hits. The way the game was played pre OBA he was a ideal 2 hitter. The lead off was a speed guy first and a OBA 2nd. The 2 hitter had plus bat control and could poke the ball where the D was when the lead off broke for 2B putting guys on 1-3 with the 3 up. Game has changed and now they look at OBA In general and avoid creating your own outs.

    That is why I saw him as a player in the old school mold. Current team is geared towards OBA and I'm not sure where he falls outside of in front of the pitcher.

    Now if he proves to be a .280 hitter and can drive into the gaps then he may surplant Russell and the RBI guy. Russell was hitting .240 ish. And grabbed 90 plus. A .280 hitter with gap power gets over 100 easy pushing 120 with that feast to dine on.

    But a singles hitter is not going to see that surplus and they are better with Russell in that role.

  4. #1917
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    I think Baez is platoon bound until he stops swinging at every ball in the dirt. I have been watching MLB for over 50 years and never seen a player miss by so much.
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  5. #1918
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    I think Baez is platoon bound until he stops swinging at every ball in the dirt. I have been watching MLB for over 50 years and never seen a player miss by so much.
    Sucker for a slider. That is the main reason why he excels vs lefties and righties own him. These teams have the reports on the holes in his game. The Indians exploited them in the series which rendered his bat valueless after he excelled vs the lefty diet from the last 2 series.

    He has star potential but he needs to close the gaps in his approach.

  6. #1919
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    And that's why Cubs have Zobrist, to platoon over 2B/RF positions while Baez and Heyward work on their bat issues.

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    Right, but we also have John Jay, MsStella, and if Sczcur out of options again.

    Sure seems like Almora should stay in AAA to see if he can learn how to get on base better to be a 1 or 9 option while the outfield is healthy and full.
    109 years since the last back to back world titles

  8. #1921
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    We have a GG caliber player with good instincts and a strong arm, on a team with a lot of offense. But people want to send him to AAA because he's not good enough offensively.

    A top notch defender in CF is what the team needs. Why is this hard to understand?

  9. #1922
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    Quote Originally Posted by TL1961 View Post
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    We have a GG caliber player with good instincts and a strong arm, on a team with a lot of offense. But people want to send him to AAA because he's not good enough offensively.

    A top notch defender in CF is what the team needs. Why is this hard to understand?
    Cause you cant have a CF and RF that can't hit.
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  10. #1923
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    Quote Originally Posted by CSF77 View Post
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    Almora will hit for contact. That part I doubt anyone will argue. The question is if he limited to singles or is he a gap hitter where he racks up 2B's.
    Almora had 100 doubles, 16 triples and 24 HRs in 1733 PAs in the minors which if you factor that to a 650 PA season is like 38, 6, and 9 or roughly 53 extra base hits a season. 53 XBH is what McCutchen had last year. And the other thing to keep in mind is that Almora was a HS player in the minors where you expect 20 year olds to grow into their power. I think he'll exchange a few of those doubles for HRs and a few singles become doubles but I generally think he hits to the gaps quite well.

    In other words, I don't think he's Juan Pierre type singles hitter with no power and little OBP. He has decent power to the alleys but he's more of a line drive hitter than a HR hitter.

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  12. #1924
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    Lol Beaz will always be a free swinger but his adjustments over a season were great. His D alone is top notch. He adjsted about as quickly as you can to a swing change. Baez is going to turn heads very quickly. There is reason Theo and them held onto him. He wasnt there guy. He made them believe he is their guy. Maddon loves him. He has went to bat for him since day one.
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  13. #1925
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    Quote Originally Posted by TL1961 View Post
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    We have a GG caliber player with good instincts and a strong arm, on a team with a lot of offense. But people want to send him to AAA because he's not good enough offensively.

    A top notch defender in CF is what the team needs. Why is this hard to understand?
    It must be pretty hard for Epstein and Hoyer to understand since they went out and signed Jay for 8 million dollars. Almora has great instincts, might be the best in baseball, but the majority of posters here do not want Schwarber catching so you pretty much immediately blocked Almora with the Jay signing.
    109 years since the last back to back world titles

  14. #1926
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotheridiot View Post
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    It must be pretty hard for Epstein and Hoyer to understand since they went out and signed Jay for 8 million dollars. Almora has great instincts, might be the best in baseball, but the majority of posters here do not want Schwarber catching so you pretty much immediately blocked Almora with the Jay signing.
    Not really. You're adding depth. Szczur should not play meaningful innings in CF. He's just not that good of a defender. Almora would have been the only true CF on the roster had they not signed Jay unless you believe in Baez there but I mean why screw with what is working(him at 2B)? If Almora rakes and Jay doesn't play that much so what? You've built in injury depth. On the other hand if Almora is ineffective you have a legit option behind him. The reality of most young players is they are going to have peaks and valleys. If Almora hits a slump having Jay around allows them to give him some time to slow things down rather than having to be out there every single day.

    $8 mil isn't that much money for a capable backup. Having him around is far cheaper than the prospects it would take to acquire a CF if shit hit the fan.

  15. #1927
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckdawg View Post
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    Not really. You're adding depth. Szczur should not play meaningful innings in CF. He's just not that good of a defender. Almora would have been the only true CF on the roster had they not signed Jay unless you believe in Baez there but I mean why screw with what is working(him at 2B)? If Almora rakes and Jay doesn't play that much so what? You've built in injury depth. On the other hand if Almora is ineffective you have a legit option behind him. The reality of most young players is they are going to have peaks and valleys. If Almora hits a slump having Jay around allows them to give him some time to slow things down rather than having to be out there every single day.

    $8 mil isn't that much money for a capable backup. Having him around is far cheaper than the prospects it would take to acquire a CF if shit hit the fan.
    Jay can lead off if they are looking at lead off depth. Add to it he can sub late inning for Schwarber and you lose little in OBA as Kyle most likely hits 1 or 2 most games.

    There is little wrong with depth and it gives another option if Almora slumps.

  16. #1928
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    Wow

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/0...&post-id=85191

    As Rogers notes, Mills was only designated for assignment when the Royals signed Jason Hammel, whose option the Cubs declined earlier in the offseason. The teamís pursuit of starting depth now raises the question of whether the team would have been better off had it simply exercised the option. But Rogers says a key reason the two sides parted ways was that Hammel had a conflicted relationship with manager Joe Maddon, who Hammel felt didnít have appropriate faith in him and who frustrated him by pulling him out of games before he would have liked to depart. Though the option on Hammelís contract was a team option, the Cubs allowed him to decide whether he wanted to leave, and Hammel made the call. Rogersí sources tell him that was due primarily to his relationship with Maddon.

  17. #1929
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    Quote Originally Posted by beckdawg View Post
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    Not really. You're adding depth. Szczur should not play meaningful innings in CF. He's just not that good of a defender. Almora would have been the only true CF on the roster had they not signed Jay unless you believe in Baez there but I mean why screw with what is working(him at 2B)? If Almora rakes and Jay doesn't play that much so what? You've built in injury depth. On the other hand if Almora is ineffective you have a legit option behind him. The reality of most young players is they are going to have peaks and valleys. If Almora hits a slump having Jay around allows them to give him some time to slow things down rather than having to be out there every single day.

    $8 mil isn't that much money for a capable backup. Having him around is far cheaper than the prospects it would take to acquire a CF if shit hit the fan.
    You always had Heyward to back up Almora if he slumped, which gives right field to Bryant or Zobrist. Last year they claimed Heyward was the choice to replace Fowler in center for a few years before going back to a corner. You ask Bryant, he would rather play center than left and right since the ball comes at you more times than mean hooks from opposite field hitters.

    Trust the kids and then make moves to take playing time away from them.
    109 years since the last back to back world titles

  18. #1930
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceS View Post
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    Lol Beaz will always be a free swinger but his adjustments over a season were great. His D alone is top notch. He adjsted about as quickly as you can to a swing change. Baez is going to turn heads very quickly. There is reason Theo and them held onto him. He wasnt there guy. He made them believe he is their guy. Maddon loves him. He has went to bat for him since day one.
    Baez cut back on his swing until he got the co mvp. Then he started expanding, ended up hitting a homer of failing terribly.
    109 years since the last back to back world titles

  19. #1931
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    Quote Originally Posted by anotheridiot View Post
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    You always had Heyward to back up Almora if he slumped, which gives right field to Bryant or Zobrist. Last year they claimed Heyward was the choice to replace Fowler in center for a few years before going back to a corner. You ask Bryant, he would rather play center than left and right since the ball comes at you more times than mean hooks from opposite field hitters.

    Trust the kids and then make moves to take playing time away from them.
    In what alternate universe does Bryant ever play CF?
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  20. #1932
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omeletpants View Post
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    In what alternate universe does Bryant ever play CF?
    Joe put him out there once and when they asked him about it he replied with what I posted. The point is Almora, Sczcur and Heyward should have already been enough to cover center field.
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  21. #1933
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    Braves acquire Brandon Phillips. The two "prospects" going back arent really prospects since they are 29 and 27. Reds eat 13 million of the 14 million of Phillips contract this year.
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    The bottom line is the Cubs are so fucking good:

    1)they will win 110 games while resting everyone.
    2) They can trade for a cost controlled ace at any time
    3) They can trade for an ace if one went down at any time.
    4) They have an embarrassment of riches that well played and well parlayed moving into the future they are like fucking set for 10 years. They probably have an ACE problem in 2-3 years, with lots and lots of money tied up elsewhere.

    They are at the point where if they pan out a move like Butler, or find an ACE somewhere, and retain a consistent Arrieta...well...if that happens we are looking at the greatest dynasty ever assembled in modern sports.
    1a. OLB Myles Garrett 1b. FS Malik Hooker 2a. WR Corey Davis 2b. Corner or OT 3a. QB Webb. Kaaya. Russell. Mahomme. somebody will be here at great value. 4a.CB Awuzie Colorado 4b.TE Sprinkles Alabama 4c.RT
    5a.CB Tony Brown Alabama 6' 4.4 speed. Troubled. 5b.Jake Butt TE Michigan. injured

  23. #1935
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    Vegas released its official wins/losses. Cubs lead all the majors at 95.5 wins. Next is Cleveland at 92.5. They predict San Diego to be the worst record in the majors this year.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/20...no-sportsbook/
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilenceS View Post
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    Vegas released its official wins/losses. Cubs lead all the majors at 95.5 wins. Next is Cleveland at 92.5. They predict San Diego to be the worst record in the majors this year.

    http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/20...no-sportsbook/
    What do you think Silence? I think both those could go over. If Cleveland is healthy they look for real. I wouldn't doubt them, I probably wouldn't like that. But I think the Cubs can win 90 in cruise control and 95 is probable. After a championship 117 might be a challenge to motivate them.
    1a. OLB Myles Garrett 1b. FS Malik Hooker 2a. WR Corey Davis 2b. Corner or OT 3a. QB Webb. Kaaya. Russell. Mahomme. somebody will be here at great value. 4a.CB Awuzie Colorado 4b.TE Sprinkles Alabama 4c.RT
    5a.CB Tony Brown Alabama 6' 4.4 speed. Troubled. 5b.Jake Butt TE Michigan. injured

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